Oct 6, 2012

Thailand - TCEB boosts meetings industry 2013 campaign, targets mega-events in Asian

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TCEB’s market promotion strategy comprises three parallel approaches: to win more bids to host major international events by strengthening the country’s image as a meetings hub; to promote the private sector MICE industry in close cooperation with government agencies; and to develop the industry to enhance its global competitiveness.

The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB continues to drive the meetings industry forward with an ambitious US$30 million 3-year plan, focusing on mega-events from key Asian and ASEAN+6 markets.

The plan, which targets corporate Incentive travel, includes the launch of the ASEAN Visitors Promotion Campaign. Thailand’s MICE industry has a major role as a bridge to ASEAN economies, and in boosting business opportunities both at home and abroad. TCEB expects the industry to generate revenues of US$ 6 billion (180 billion baht) over the coming three years.

For the past 11 years, Thailand has hosted IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific, the region’s largest international trade show for the conference and incentive travel industry. This year’s event will be held from 2-4 October at the Bangkok Convention Centre. Central World, Bangkok, The forum, attended by over 2,600 decision-makers, MICE operators and media representatives from 60 countries around the world, is thus an ideal platform to launch TCEB’s 2013 promotion campaign for the meetings and incentive travel industry.

Ms. Vichaya Soonthornsaratoon, Acting Director of Meetings Industry Department of TCEB, disclosed that "Our approach to stimulating the market in 2013 will focus on driving Thailand’s meetings industry in line with the government’s ‘Modern Thailand’ policy. The policy seeks to create new trade and investment opportunities by positioning Thailand as the natural gateway to the ASEAN market, and a hub for creation of new region-wide business opportunities."

“As we gear up to the unified market of the AEC in 2015, I am confident that our increasing focus on short-haul markets in Asia and the ASEAN+6 countries will pay dividends due to expected strong economic growth in this region, high purchasing power and Thailand’s strategic location. All these factors translate into a huge potential for Thailand’s MICE industry, which has shown robust and continuous growth in recent years. In terms of MICE visitors to Thailand, the top 5 key Asian markets have been India, China, Singapore, Japan and South Korea, whilst Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia have considerable potential for growth”.

Meanwhile, we also aim to sustain Thailand’s existing long-haul markets in USA and Europe, particularly in Germany, UK, France and the Russian Federation. Despite the economic downturn, we see considerable opportunity in these major markets.

TCEB’s market promotion strategy comprises three parallel approaches: to win more bids to host major international events by strengthening the country’s image as a meetings hub; to promote the private sector MICE industry in close cooperation with government agencies; and to develop the industry to enhance its global competitiveness. Supporting these approaches will be a range of activities and promotional campaigns to raise awareness in the market, including trade shows, road shows and familiarization trips, as well as continuing market development through TCEB’s established global network. TCEB will also make full use of online channels and digital media to reach specific target groups, and achieve our goal of 3 million MICE visitors and earnings of US$6 billion (180 billion baht) within three years from 2013-2015.

In order to boost the corporate meetings market in the coming 3 years, TCEB has allocated a 90 million baht (US$30 million) budget for two campaigns:
1) A Mega-event promotion: TCEB offers financial support of US$33,000 (Baht 1 million) for corporate meetings in Thailand with duration of 3 days or more, and 1,000 or more participants;

2) TCEB offers support for events hosted continuously in Thailand for at least three years with 1,000 or more participants. The campaign focuses on five main business areas: direct selling, automotives, pharmaceuticals, finance and insurance. The level of support offered increases each year, provided that the event secures at least 10% year-on-year increase in delegate numbers.

The two campaigns, to be implemented from 2013-2015, are expected to result in a targeted 81,200 corporate meetings and incentive travellers, earning US$ 177 million (5.33 billion baht) over the period.

“In regard to association meetings, a 10 million baht (US$33,000) budget increase will be used to implement the “ASEAN Visitors Promotion” campaign, which aims to attract business visitors from the ASEAN+3 markets (ASEAN +Japan, Korea, China). The campaign aims to reinforce Thailand’s status as a hub for international meetings in Asia and establish its leadership within the AEC. The campaign offers support of Baht 1,000 (US$33) per delegate for business associations, event organizers and travel agencies to encourage hosting of meetings of a minimum of 20 delegates in Thailand. TCEB has initially selected groups who will hold 30 meetings, each with more than 300 participants, to participate in this promotion, which is expected to generate revenues of 800 million Baht (US$ 26.7 million) in 2013”.

Ms. Vichaya said, "TCEB has also organized familiarization trips for clients from Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and other key target markets to experience Thailand’s potential as a destination for international meetings and incentive travel. The first of these will visit Thailand’s two main MICE cities – Chiang Mai and Pattaya, during March to August next year.”

“TCEB will also organize road shows in nine target markets: India, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Britain, France and Russia, and will join flagship MICE trade shows at IT&CMA 2012 (Thailand), IMEX America 2012 (USA), EIBTM 2012 (Spain), IME 2012 (Japan), AIME 2013 (Australia), IT&CM China 2013 (China), IMEX 2013 (Germany) AIBTM 2013 (USA), KME 2013 (Korea) and CIBTM 2013 (China). These events offer prime opportunities to build awareness of Thailand’s superb venues and diversity of choices.“

“TCEB’s allocated budget of 870 million baht (US$ 29 million) for 2013 includes 268 million baht for meetings industry promotion. By year-end, TCEB expects to achieve its target of 750,000 MICE travelers to Thailand, with revenues forecast at 60.12 billion baht (US$2 billion). The meetings industry alone will contribute 670,000 visitors and revenues of 52 billion Baht (US$ 1.7 billion).” concluded Ms. Vichaya.

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